Latin music, a key tool for treating medical patients in the US


Miami, Oct 14 (EFE) .- Ranchera, salsa, cumbia and the use of percussion are rhythms that could be synonymous with party and fun. However, today they have also become a key tool for therapeutic treatments.

Music allows health professionals to alleviate and treat conditions in patients with acute health conditions, the therapist and musician Julián Silva, who uses Latin music to treat his patients, told EFE.

“Those of us who are dedicated to this type of therapy work with patients suffering from trauma, chronic pain and terminal diagnoses. We find them in the most difficult moments of their lives and with music we deal with some of their conditions ”, explained the musician and leader in addition to the La Excelencia orchestra.

The use of music as a therapeutic tool is not new.

In fact, the technique was mentioned in theories published in the 1800s, and the profession of music therapist was born 80 years ago and, since then, it is an academic program taught in universities in the United States.

And Silva is one of the few Latino specialists treating patients with intrinsic rhythms of Hispanic culture.

“In our community there is a great need to respond to emotional, social and cultural needs. For that reason, I try to adapt and use the type of music with which they have a special connection, ”said the percussionist.

Born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Silva currently works in the city of Oakland, California.

From there, he helps patients who enjoy Latin rhythms and, although many of the residents of that state tend to be more inclined towards regional Mexican music, the corrido, the ranchera or the cumbia, Julián takes advantage of the different Hispanic rhythms to alleviate conditions such as anxiety and agitation.

He adds that according to his experience it is difficult for “a Latino not to get excited and not find relief with the music with which he feels identified and which is part of his Latin roots.”


According to Dr. Amy Clements-Cortes of the University of Toronto School of Music, music can be classified as a “cognitive need, a physical need, a spiritual need, and an emotional need.”

And for Silva this is not alien. His desire to dedicate himself to music was born when he realized that through melodies and songs he could express himself and communicate without having to worry about having a different accent.

Music helped him to integrate and connect with people. His passion led him to become a professional in this discipline and to integrate it with his studies.


Silva’s story is one of four stories that are part of Intuit TurboTax’s #PerseveranciaLatina digital campaign to honor Hispanic Heritage Month by highlighting the strength and persevering spirit that defines Latinos.

Other prominent Hispanics were Salvadoran-American Ana Flores, founder and CEO of #WellAllGrow, the first network of Latina influencers and entrepreneurs.

And also the Dominican-American Kateryn Ferreira, a front-line worker who helped reduce the spread of COVID-19 from NYC Health and Hospitals, and Noriluz Oscuro, a young Mexican-American who became a self-taught financial advisor for educate their parents.

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